New Delhi: Delhi University teachers who have been agitating against the new UGC criteria to ascertain their academic performance today marched to the Education Ministry but were stopped midway by police which also detained 600 of them.
Thousands of teachers started their march from Mandi House wearing black head bands demanding that the ministry gives them a clear written assurance that the workload norms will remain unchanged with the direct teaching hours including tutorials and practicals with full weightage.
According to police officials, 600 of them were detained as a preventive measure keeping in mind the law and order situation. The agitating teachers, who have been boycotting evaluation of undergraduate exams since May 24, then met education ministry officials and submitted a memorandum of demand in this regard.
The teachers are protesting against amendments to UGC regulations that, they argue, will lead to job-cuts to the tune of 50 per cent and drastically decrease pupil-teacher ratio in higher education.
The new gazette notification has increased the workload for assistant professors from 16 hours of “direct teaching” per week (including tutorials) to 18 hours, plus another six of tutorials, bringing the total up to 24 hours. Similarly the work hours of associate professors have been increased from 14 to 22. Following protests, the education ministry had directed UGC to review the same. The commission had on Monday organised consultations on the issue with various stake holders including representatives of teachers associations from across the country.
The protesting teachers including those from JNU, Jamia and Ambedkar University, had however claimed that the consultations did not yield any results. Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) has called for a General Body (GB) meeting tomorrow to decide future course of action.